Who is my neighbor?
Sunday’s Gospel lesson is the beloved story of the Good Samaritan (Click here to read it.) It is a story that inspires us to do good to others, to love unconditionally and without thought of reward.
We can be remarkably compassionate and serve people as this passages calls us to. I’ve seen members of St. John’s perform remarkable and sacrificial acts of service to one another. I’ve seen others serve in stunningly selfless ways, and we should honor and pray for that.
Yet, there are also times when this is not the case. I, for one, know that there are times when people come to church looking for help and I feel quite un-Samaritan-like. There are times when all of us see needs we could do something about, and we walk by on the other side of the road.
Of course, no one can do everything for everyone. Even Jesus, we are told, did not cure all the sick people in Israel. But he did reach out to the needs of those whom God put in His path, and I daresay we can all do a better job, at least with those God plops at our feet.
I think the really challenging part of this parable is that Jesus told it in response to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” A teacher wanted to be sure he was justified, and also who he did not have an obligation to care for. Jesus’ response is “everybody.” Politics, race, age, citizenship, religion — none of these things matter.
We serve because God made us to serve, not because we deem the other neighbor-enough!
Pray that we may be Samaritans!
This column appeared in the July 10, 2022 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.